Science books don’t have to weigh you down. Keep it light with these informative, intelligent reads.

Must-read: The Weather Machine by Andrew Blum

Should Be On Everyone’s Forecast

It’s a complex topic, but he keeps it breezy—perfect for dog-earing on the sand. Amazon

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The first step in every successful outdoor adventure is checking the weather forecast before you depart. But now you can follow it up with The Weather Machine, Andrew Blum’s dive into the history and machinery of the international weather forecasting system.

Phenomenal: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Read Outdoors

All about nature. Amazon

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In her first novel, Delia Owens tells the story of the fictional Kya Clark, a young woman living in rural North Carolina in the 1950s known to her neighbors as The Marsh Girl. It’s part mystery, part bildungsroman, and entirely in tune with its natural setting.

Smooth read: Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us by Ruth Kassinger

Award-Winning For A Reason

Read the multi-million-year saga of this life-giving group of organisms as the waves roll in. Amazon

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That algae washing up on the beach? It’s much cooler than you, as Ruth Kassinger explains in immense detail in her new book Slime.

A second opinion: Range by David Epstein

How Should You Live?

Spread yourself out. Amazon

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The modern world rewards a one-track mind: Excel at this, master that. But jack-of-all-trades may have the upper hand, or so David Epstein argues in his new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.

Look within: Skeleton Keys by Brian Switek

How About Some Structure

Words regarding your insides. Amazon

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We’re all just a sack of bones. But what does that really mean? In Skeleton Keys, Brian Switek explores the biological reality and cultural history of the calcium that keeps us together.

Shroom knowledge: The Truffle Underground by Ryan Jacobs

Deliciously Addicting

There are an estimated 5.1 million species of fungi on Earth—and an equal number of ways to feel about them. Amazon

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Black mold can kill; forest mushrooms can go either way; but everyone loves a truffle. In The Truffle Underground, Ryan Jacobs digs into the “theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud” that keep these rare subterranean fruiting bodies on our table.